Travel Log #8 “Exploring Stereotypes” By Andrew Rivera Barcelona, Spain

Before studying abroad my impression of the people that have gone was it was a non-stop party for four months. Going out every night to a new club or bar, and on the weekends travel to a new country and explore. But after being away from home for about two months now I see that it is much more than that. Slimbach states, “little of the new cultural knowledge, language ability, and perspective change that marks a well-traveled mind.” I can see why he states this because many people that I go to class with are party animals. Some students are going out six to seven nights a week and are only about getting wasted, and not seeing all of the other aspects that each of our respective cities that we are living in.

I think one of the reasons that people have a specific attitude towards study abroad students is because of social media. Social media has become a huge part of our everyday lives and it has influenced the study abroad students and the people who view them. For the most part when you post on social media it is probably a highlight of your life or just when you are having a ton of fun. When the students travel abroad they post the pictures of them at the clubs, and at all of the amazing views that they are able to see when traveling. This gives off the impression that all they did was travel to new places and party. But as someone who is currently studying abroad I can personally tell you that it is much more than that. The schooling system is very different and sometimes hard to balance with traveling, and sight-seeing. I would say that I am guilty of language ability because I am not taking any Spanish classes but I try my best to speak Spanish whenever I can. Some of the ways that study abroad students could do to change this stereotype would be to show people more of their everyday lives and not just the ones you expect. For example, when people travel to Paris, France they usually post a picture of them and the Eiffel tower. Instead of doing that students should post them doing homework or studying for a midterm. Just show the people that it’s not a party every day. Hopefully in the future we can get rid of this stereotype.

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2 thoughts on “Travel Log #8 “Exploring Stereotypes” By Andrew Rivera Barcelona, Spain

  1. Hey Andrew,
    I can totally agree with everything you are saying. Here in Barcelona it is obvious that some people are just here for the party scene. I have met so many people who are yet to visit even the most famous of Barcelona’s sites due to their excessive party schedule. I am glad that you understand the importance of finding a balance. Barcelona is beautiful and has so much to offer. I hope you are enjoying it!
    Ryan

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  2. I couldn’t agree with you more Andrew. It actually makes me really disappointed when I am trying to explore my host country with some friends, and all they care about is finding the next pub and documenting each step they take on social media. Ever since I read Simbach’s “Mindful Traveler,” I can’t help but constantly distinguish people between a mindful traveler and a tourists. And I’m starting to think that the stereotypes aren’t based on Americans, but tourists in general. They are the ones that give off the conceded and ignorant stereotype, not “Americans.”

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